I Want to go Back! Backstreet Cafe
On a warm April evening, we had an amazing meal at a charming restaurant in the River Oaks area. Now, if you know us, you know that we don’t normally go places that are super costly to eat, but since it was our anniversary, we thought we’d splurge on someplace a bit more upscale.
Choosing a place was difficult. We wanted great food and outdoor dining. We didn’t mind spending a bit more than usual, but we still aren’t the types to spend $100 per person for dinner. We decided on Backstreet Café off of Shepherd because the reviews were excellent and it seemed anniversary worthy. I checked online for reservations, but there we no tables available, but when I telephoned, the wonderful hostess said she could get us in and even get us back patio seating if we didn’t mind eating arriving at 6:00.
The restaurant is in a beautiful old home, with the bricked in back yard serving as the back patio. Giant trees canopy the tables and market umbrellas give further protection from the elements. The clientele was dressed in everything from cocktail dresses down to jeans, but the jeans wearers still looked impeccable. These weren’t Walmart jeans—more like True Religion and Lucky (I know some of the ladies want to know this). The wine list is extensive, but I chose homemade sangria to start off the evening. Soon warm sourdough bread arrived at the table. The texture of the bread was perfect—hard, chewy crust and soft interior.
I couldn’t decide between two appetizers, but when the waiter raved about the crab cakes being more crab than cake, we decided to split that. Although the portion was not large, the outstanding flavor and amount of crab more than made up for the size.
Ken chose a goat cheese stuffed chicken for his entrée. It was served on a bed of rice and vegetables. I’m not much for goat cheese, but it was really exquisite. I ordered a Texas flat iron steak, medium rare. It was accompanied with a fresh, grilled jalapeno stuffed with mushrooms and undoubtedly some of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever eaten. I have no idea what cheese they used or special seasonings, but it was amazing. It did not taste like kid macaroni, but was rich and delicate all at the same time. It had been baked in its own ramekin, and came bubbling hot.
Their desserts all sounded wonderful, and had we not been so full we might have ordered two different ones, but since both of us were pretty full, we decided to split. Since I had chosen the appetizer, Ken chose the dessert. He chose a fresh banana tart. It was served with dulce de leche and crème fraiche, and was a perfect light ending to a perfect evening.
Now, please scroll down to the bottom of this post and tell me your favorite place to go for an enjoyable outdoor dining evening in the Houston (or within driving distance) area. It doesn’t have to be upscale (please—my bank account would appreciate it!) just good!